No. 4 Minnesota scores five in win over No. 13 Michigan State


Jack Moreland

Dylan St. Cyr defends the Spartans’ goal during Michigan State’s loss to Minnesota on December 2, 2022. Photo Credit: Jack Moreland/WDBM

Ryan Radosevich, Hockey Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING- No. 13/11 Michigan State met its best competition of the season Friday night and it showed, falling 5-0 to the No. 4/1 Minnesota Golden Gophers.

“It’s part of the growth of our group is you have to come to the rink and believe you can win and then two, we got to keep learning and growing,” said head coach Adam Nightingale.

The scoring started early for the Gophers as freshman forward Logan Cooley was able to shift one past MSU goaltender Dylan St. Cyr eight minutes into the contest. 

“I think early in the game we were a little light on our stick, those are areas for our program that are non-negotiable and gotta be better,” said Nightingale.

Leading in shots 12-5 after 20 minutes, the Gophers kept the offensive pressure on and added a second tally courtesy of top-line left winger Rhett Pitlick to go up 2-0 late in the second period. 

This was the second time all season that MSU has been held scoreless through two periods. 

“They’re a very talented team and I think we turned a lot of pucks over that fed right into their game,” said graduate transfer captain Miroslav Mucha. 

MSU had to come up with a big offensive spark entering the final frame and they did as they were able to pester Minnesota goaltender Justen Close, but the netminder kept the gold and maroon in front. 

“I think we had to do a better job at getting in front of him. You know I think any goalie in the big ten if you can see the pick is probably gonna stop it so that’ll be a focus for tomorrow,” said Nightingale.

Then the floodgates opened and MSU’s momentum was squandered as Minnesota scored three goals in the final 10 minutes of the game to hand MSU a 5-0 loss, their second loss in the last ten games. 

“I go back to the way we played at the start of the third, we gotta find a way to do that for a full 60,” said Nightingale. 

Close picked up his third shutout of the season saving all 25 shots he faced, pushing Minnesota to 12-5-0 on the season. Meanwhile, MSU falls to 11-5-1 and looks to snap the 10-game losing streak to the Gophers Saturday night. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m.